William F. Stern Visiting Professorship Lecture
Monday, September 26, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
S-AR presents and shares several works of their practice under the theme of the Hines College’s TRANS-SCALAR lecture series. The lecture includes S-AR’s recent completed and in progress works.
Held in-person in the UH Architecture Building Theater.
S-AR is an architectural design studio based in Mexico (Monterrey and Mexico City) led by architects César Guerrero and Ana Cecilia Garza.
The studio’s work has been awarded the Emerging Voices Award by The Architectural League of New York (New York, U.S.A., 2016), the Design Vanguard Award by Architectural Record for emerging architects (New York, U.S.A., 2013), the Dwell Design Award by Dwell Magazine for the Best Dwelling (San Francisco, U.S.A., 2020), the Blueprint Award by Blueprint Magazine for the Best Small Project (London, U.K., 2020), the 1st. Place in the XXI Cemex Building National Award 2012 (Mexico, 2012) and the 1st. Place in National Competition “Bicentennial Elementary School” (Mexico, 2008).
They received the Young Artists Grant “Jovenes Creadores” CONACULTA – FONCA (Arts and Culture Mexican Council) in the discipline of Architectural Design (Mexico, 2009) and they were part of the exhibition Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling at MoMA – Museum of Modern Art (New York, U.S.A., 2007). The studio received an Award of Merit in the 2020 AZ Awards (Toronto, Canada, 2020), an Honorable Mention in the AN Best of Design Awards by The Architect´s Newspaper (New York, U.S.A., 2020), an Honorable Mention in the Golden Trezzini Awards (Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2021), an Honorable Mention in the International Competition “Possible Cities” organized by ARPAFIL (Guadalajara, Mexico, 2009) and they were finalist for the Museo Experimental el Eco Pavilion in Mexico City (Mexico, 2014). S-AR has been nominated for the 2014 Ibero-American Architecture Biennial Award (Rosario, Argentina, 2014) and for the 2019 Ibero-American Architecture Biennial Award (Asuncion, Paraguay, 2019), and selected -Emerging Designer- in the Present for the Arts in Mexico by La Tempestad Magazine of Arts (Mexico, 2014), selected to represent Mexico in the BAL – Latin-American Biennial of Architecture (Mexico – Spain – LATAM, 2015), selected to be part of the Mexico´s Pavilion in the 15 and 16 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura di Venezia – 15th and 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale (Mexico – Italy, 2016 / 2018) and selected to participate in the XX Chilean Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (Valparaiso, Chile, 2017), the BIA-AR – Argentinean Architecture International Biennial (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016) and at the eleventh edition of the Momentum Biennale – MOMENTUM 11 – HOUSE OF COMMONS (Moss/Jeløya, Norway, 2021).
S-AR´s work has been part of the exhibitions YALA – Young Architects in Latin America – La nouvelle architecture en Amérique Latine at the arc en rêve centre d´architecture (Bordeaux, France, 2018) and the MARQ – Architecture and Design Museum (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019), Häuser für alle at the IFA – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Stuttgart, Germany, 2019), Diseñando México – Architettura: Necessità e Libertà at the International Architecture Festival Mantovarchitettura – Politecnico di Milano (Mantova, Italy, 2019), among others. Also S-AR´s work has been part of the exhibition series of Monoambiente, Gallery of Design and Architecture (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and of the exhibitions program of LIGA space for architecture (Mexico City, Mexico).
Some S-AR´s lectures at several forums and universities include the Navarra University (Pamplona, Spain), the ETSAB – UPC (Barcelona, Spain), The Architectural League of New York (New York, U.S.A.), the GSAPP – Columbia University (New York, U.S.A.) the University of Houston (Houston, U.S.A.), MONTE 153C (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and the Atelier Piloto´s lecture series (Brasilia, Brazil).
Historically, design disciplines have been attached to specific scale spectrums -the scales of Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Architecture, Urbanism, or Territory- However, the objects we design are not inert assemblies of material forms. In every design decision we make, we mobilize, increase pressure, and transform the Earth’s system, including within human and non-human life forms. Every design decision can provoke ecological tension, inequality, and disruptions that lead the planet to amplified natural catastrophes for which no one can quite be blamed. Design is trans-scalar if we realize simple equations: every pile produces a whole, and every material form has its equivalent negative somewhere else.
How do we think and practice design ethically when acknowledging the objects we design are not innocent, but the intractability washes the responsibilities of natural catastrophe? The way of displaying the complex reality of design is by disclosing its trans-scalar powers. Objects of design are assemblages of many layers -the ecological, political, social, formal, material, technological, and environmental-combined in ethical and aesthetic forms. When these layers come together in exemplary works, they disseminate knowledge by becoming paradigms.
In this new era of ecological consciousness, design becomes an embassy, a cross-section, of all these layers representing the myriads of scales in which every design decision operates from the molecular to the cosmic scales. This program series posits the question of trans-scalar design via the social, cultural, historical, and environmental realms and how designers respond to the responsibilities of trans-scalar materiality.
- UH College of Architecture and Design Theater